Ice cream truck driver arrested in Harlingen

An ice cream truck driver learned about a Harlingen city ordinance the hard way.

The city has a law on the books that prohibits ice cream trucks and others from selling on streets, sidewalks and alleyways.

Harlingen city jail records show that officers arrested Salome Martinez III for violating that ordinance on Tuesday.

Martinez recalled the first time he drove his ice cream truck inside Harlingen city limits.

"People are just telling me that it's been a long time since they had ice cream trucks, he said. It took me about four hours to get from Rangerville to the U.S. Expressway. it was that exciting for them and for ourselves."

Martinez said he kept going back from his home in San Benito to neighborhoods in Harlingen, unaware that he was not allowed to be there.

Harlingen police arrested Martinez on Tuesday for violating a city ordinance that prohibits selling on the streets, sidewalks and alleyways.

Martinez said he TMs never had a problem in any community " just Harlingen.

"What takes you back is the kids, you know, the first timers, the people taking photos a lot with their kids, the high school kids, Martinez said about his profession.

Martinez said he TMs against the Harlingen ordinance.

The San Benito man said his ice cream truck is his livelihood and that he should be allowed to sell anywhere regardless of city limits.

"Even if they wanna hold this to the high standards that it's supposed to be, that'd be fine, he told Action 4 News. I'll do anything they need for me to get me back."

For now, Martinez said he TMll continue driving his truck through the streets of San Benito where it TMs legal to sell frozen treats and snacks from an ice cream truck.

He's confident he'll find his way back into Harlingen once city leaders reconsider their ordinance.

Action 4 News repeatedly tried to contact the City of Harlingen for comment throughout the day but telephone calls were not returned.